Once when I was in first grade my grandparents took me to NYC. I don’t remember many of the details but one thing that still stands in my mind was going to FAO Schwarz. For those of you too young to recall, FAO was simply the greatest toy store on the planet. Back before the net, the FAO catalog that would come before Christmas was pure crack for us kids. But to actually travel to the Mecca itself- to walk in through those glass doors was like entering Nirvana. The experience could be quite overwhelming, making it hard to know where to go and what to gawk at first.
That’s kind of how I feel now as I am poised on the eve of another Philly Beer Week. For the next ten days our city (and metro region) will be deluged with amazing beer some of which is appearing here for the first time or is a one-off brewed just for the occasion. There are chances to meet some true luminaries and to indulge in carefully paired beer dinners. There’s also the chance to have some fun doing things like racing to assemble IKEA furniture after chugging two high proof beers and other such creative nonsense.
The problem is that it is actually overwhelming for me to try and assess what to do. There are after all, only so many hours in the day, so much time I can take away from work and from family and of course only so much abuse my poor liver can endure.
Four or five years ago it used to be easier.. pick a few premium events featuring world class opportunities to taste or talk and make the time. Now I feel like the first grade me all over again… I look at the PBW schedule and have no idea where to begin.
Look- I am not asking for a pity party here. As problems go, this is a good one to have.
The best thing for me to do is to admit from the start that no matter how hard I try simply cannot do everything I want to. Welcome to adulthood, Kirk. In years past this would have driven me nuts. I would have lost sleep trying to figure out how I can be in two places at once or how I can skip out early on some critical meeting in order to try and get a taste of Super Dooper Barrel Aged Monkey Butt Ale with Brett (on the off chance that is actually a beer name I apologize for infringing on your IP).
But you know what, somehow it doesn’t matter quite so much anymore. I’ve tried a lot of beers and I will get to try a lot more and even though I may miss out on some amazing brew that I will never get to taste again, what really matters is that my life is still pretty well complete and quite fulfilling anyway.
And so this year I will get out to the Brew Off and together with a Rabbi and a Minister I will again walk into a bar, but beyond that I may only get to a few other events. And you know what- I’m OK with that.
But, if you’re in the area, do yourself a favor and go to something- anything- cause its all pretty good and this week is something that Philly does better than any place else on earth!
Thanks for indulging me and allowing me to use the blog as my confessional and who knows… maybe I’ll see you out there for Philly Beer Week.
PS- I just learned that the iconic FAO in NYC is closing :(